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Shock & Awe(mus)

| December 30, 2019

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in TALKERS magazine in July of 2011.

NEW YORK — Picture the warm-and-fuzzy wakeup talent who oversees and nurtures a friendly environment.  That standard blueprint for eliciting a feel-good attitude has worked ratings wonders for years and is a cherished cornerstone for some of America’s top-tier heritage stations.

Now imagine pretty much the exact opposite with what some would insist is a cynical, bitter-sounding, often-mumbling personality who berates nearly everyone in his path (his bosses, co-workers, advertisers, guests and listeners are never exempt) and you have a reasonably good feel for “Imus in the Morning.”

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

| October 2, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases August Financial Figures; Revenue Up 6.3%. Although iHeartMedia is not publicly traded and required by law to release financial data, it is making monthly reports public during its Chapter 11 reorganization process. According to yesterday’s statement detailing August financial data, the company’s revenue climbed 6.3% to $299.4 million.  Operating income rose significantly to $76.8 million, and net income rose to a five-month high of $66.9 million.  (iHM posted sizable losses of $139.8 million and $119.7 million in both April and June, respectively.) During August, iHeartMedia paid out $9.7 million to outside professionals – those handling the reorganization process – down from July’s five-month high of $15.7 million.

Michael Harrison Podcast Poses Provocative Question:  Does the Human Brain Act as a Kind of Radio/Television Antenna?  Silicon Valley high-tech industry financial expert Mark Gober is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Gober is the author of a provocative new book titled “An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life” (Waterside Press, 2018).  In it, he presents the latest scientific research and evidence suggesting that, contrary to popular belief and mainstream science dogma, human consciousness doesn’t originate in the brain but, rather, in a higher universal dimension – perhaps even beyond time and space as we perceive them.  The implications of such a possibility are profound.  Harrison states, “I’ve always been fascinated by the obvious connections between human biology and our technological extensions of it.  In other words, our inventions are enhanced mechanical versions of what nature has already provided us.  Is it not possible that just as the content of radio and TV programs does not originate in the physical appliances that pluck it out of the air for us, our consciousness – thoughts, words and creativity – comes from some other invisible source outside the brain?  Maybe the brain is a biological radio antenna processing signals from elsewhere?  Mark Gober’s book tackles this issue in a direct, credible and understandable way.  He’s a great guest!”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS News Notes. The NFL’s Washington Redskins are working with Skyview Networks’ AdView Inventory Management software and Live Read Capture system, under a new, multi-year deal.  Skyview says, “AdView’s custom design makes scheduling complex play-by-play inventory efficient, providing the Redskins a user-friendly solution as they bring their radio rights in-house for the first time.  With the ability to manage their own broadcast, the Redskins will benefit from scheduling flexibility and quick proof-of-performance turnaround to their sponsors.”  Skyview vice president of business development Matt Stys comments, “We are thrilled to work with the Washington Redskins and believe that AdView will be a powerful tool as they begin managing inventory in-house for the first time.  AdView is custom-tailored to play-by-play broadcasts, which maximizes value in scheduling.  We look forward to growing our partnership in seasons ahead.”…..More Washington Redskins news as Entercom announces it has inked a deal with the club to present Spanish play-by-play on WJFK-AM “El Zol Deportes.”  Entercom Washington SVP and market manager Phil Zachary states, “We’re excited to partner with the Washington Redskins and bring Spanish-language coverage of the team to fans in the community. As the unrivaled leader in sports radio, we remain committed to expanding our sports content and reaching an even broader audience.”…..In Indianapolis, Emmis Communications news/talk WIBC-FM takes on a new television partner for news and weather coverage. Since 2011, the station had a relationship with E.W. ScrippsABC affiliate WRTV-TV.  Going forward, the station is partnering with Nexstar’s CW affiliate WISH-TV.  As part of the deal, WIBC-FM will air an audio simulcast of the 5:00 am to 6:00 am “Daybreak” program.  Emmis Indianapolis vice president and market manager Bob Richards says, “WIBC has a serious commitment to local news.  We are thrilled to work with a TV station that is equally passionate about local coverage.  This partnership is a natural.”  WIBC director of programming David Wood adds, “We are already planning for some joint projects that will make this TV-radio partnership unique to the market.”…..The Waco Herald-Tribune reports that the launch of a new sports talk station by Edwards Media LLC is being delayed until the end of this month due to “engineering and recent weather issues.” The station – be heard via the HD2 channel of the company’s co-owned hip hop KWBT-FM and on translator K231CG at 94.1 FM – is expected to air CBS Sports Radio programming such as Jim Rome and “Tiki and Tierney,” along with local morning show “Go Big or Go Home” with station GM Rich Richardson.….It’s been seven seasons since the Milwaukee Brewers made the MLB playoffs and to celebrate, flagship radio station WTMJ is hosting “The Hometown Call at Turner Hall” for game one of the National League Division Series on Thursday (10/4).  At the venue, fans will hear Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Uecker calling the game on WTMJ while watching the television video.  Station director of programming and news Eric Brooks says, “We can’t wait to hear Mr. Baseball calling October baseball with hundreds of Brewers fans hanging on his every word.  This what the postseason is all about.”

Warner Wolf Loses Imus Age Discrimination Suit; Attorney Vows to Appeal. According to a report in the New York Daily News, longtime New York sports media figure Warner Wolf has lost his age discrimination suit against former employer Don Imus, largely on jurisdictional grounds.  Imus fired Wolf, who had been handling sports reports on the “Imus in the Morning” show from his home in Florida, in 2016.  In the complaint, Wolf states that Imus regularly mocked his senior citizen status on air prior to firing him.  But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James d’Auguste ruled that since Wolf lived and worked in Florida, any discriminatory conduct would have taken place there.  In his decision, Judge d’Auguste also noted that Imus’ jabs about Wolf’s age didn’t rise to the level of discrimination since Imus himself is also old. Wolf attorney Doug Wigdor says they will appeal.

Kavanaugh Investigation, Sanders’ Stop BEZOS Bill, the USMCA Deal, U.S.-China Tensions, Kanye West ‘SNL’ Pro-Trump Speech, Midterm Elections, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/1). The accusations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the FBI’s investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s claim; Bernie Sanders’ bill that would tax Amazon, Walmart and others for the amount their workers receive in federal benefits; the new USMCA trade pact between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada; U.S.-China tensions over tariffs and China’s military programs in the South China Sea; the flap over Kanye West’s pro-Trump speech on “SNL”; November’s midterm elections and the battle to control congress; the weekend’s NFL action, and the MLB playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Atlanta, Louie Diaz is promoted to vice president/contemporary for Cumulus Radio Station Group.  Diaz is continuing his role as operations manager for Cumulus Media Atlanta and as program director for CHR WWWQ “Q100.” Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay states, “This move recognizes the success that our company has had with Louie Diaz, first in Dallas, then in D.C., and now in Atlanta.  We’re excited to have him join the team in the Office of Programming at Cumulus Media.”…..Adult hits WRRA, Pittsburgh “96.9 BOB FM” has a new program director as John Robertson announces his retirement from the Steel City Media station and Sean Stevens rises to the PD position.  Robertson has spent the last 20 years of his 40-plus year radio career with Steel City Media.  Stevens is currently the afternoon drive star and will retain that role while assuming the PD position…..M-10 Broadcasting’s classic hits WQLL-AM “Q1370” brings Ken Merson, a.k.a. Merson Person, aboard to host the “Merson Person in the Morning” program, effective October 8.  Merson has most recently been program director of SiriusXM’s “60s on 6” channel.  Current morning host Platinum Pat O’Neill moves to afternoons to make room for Merson…..In Kansas City, Steel City Media’s adult contemporary KCKC “KC102.1 ups Natalie “Rush” Randall from her APD/MD role to program director. She says of her promotion, “I discovered a new family since joining the team at ‘KC102.1,’ and being able to watch the station grow has been such an honor.  I’m excited to continue the forward momentum of KCKC and to lead the next chapter of the station.”…..WKLB, Boston morning personality Hannah Byrom exits the Beasley Media Group country station after two-plus years there.  She says via Facebook, “This morning was my last show with ‘COUNTRY 102.5.’  It’s been a great run for the past two-and-a-half years, and I’ll miss getting to hang with [co-host] Jackson Blue & [producer] Santi DeOleo every morning. THANK YOU to every one of you that allowed me into your life every morning.”…..Drake Hall and “The Drake Hall Show” come out on top again in The Memphis Flyer’s “Best in Memphis” 2018.  Hall hosts the morning show on Cumulus Media’s rock WXMX “98.1 The Max.”…..The new classic hits radio show, “Throwback Nation Radio,” debuts tonight from 7:00 pm-12:00 midnight on AC and classic hits stations in multiple markets across the U.S.  The show is being hosted by Tony Lorino and Danny Hustle…..Connoisseur Media announces the “One Song, One Us” campaign that is designed to “encourage unity, love, kindness, acceptance, and hope in our communities through the power of music and the artist’s messages by featuring a song at 2:00 pm every weekday on all stations.” Connoisseur director of brand management Michelle Stevens says the song will be chosen by the listeners.  She says, “The interactive nature of this initiative will provide listeners an authentic acceptance of the things that really matter most to each of us as human beings.  We all have struggled with issues like depression, addiction, insecurity, abuse, and a host of other things that can be disabling to the human spirit without compassion and support. Music is so often the familiar tie that is able to connect us all on a deeper level when it’s difficult to articulate for ourselves.  Together, we can take a fresh approach to the meaning behind the lyrics and weave a bond of unity, inner strength and the simple reassurance that we are not alone.”

September 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the September 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s September 2018 survey period covered August 16 – September 12. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – Off in each of the last four months for a collective -.8 (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” adds three-tenths in September to 2.0 (#20 to #19, 6+). The key station of the Mets was up six-tenths in April. Its March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Flat at #23, Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records its fifth straight month without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Down of flat for six consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of three-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 -.9, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk WABC mirrors WKXW by picking up two-tenths (1.1, #25 to #24, 6+). Having logged a 4.7 in three of the last four sweeps (4.7 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “Sports Radio” falters by eight-tenths to 3.9 (6+), sliding from fifth to ninth; 4.7 (May, July and August) is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. The Yankees’ flagship logged back-to-back gains of +.8 (3.1 – 3.9 – 4.7, March – April – May, 6+). For the third month in succession, WEPN posts a 1.4 (#22 to #21, 6+); “98.7 ESPN New York” was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June. When WEPN picked up two-tenths in February, it halted three downward moves in succession that produced a loss of seven-tenths (1.8 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.1, 6+). A combined -2.0 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS manages to advance from seventh to a sixth-place tie. Trending 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.8 (6+), co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM progresses from #15 to #13. In July, it ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). With an August improvement of seven-tenths, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM recaptured in its entirety the seven-tenths it lost in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+); however, the public radio news/talker surrenders six-tenths in September (3.4 – 2.8, #11 to #13, 6+). Meanwhile, after recording a .5 (6+) three times in a row, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM gains one-tenth to .6 (#30 to #27, 6+).

New York City Music Formats – Up or flat for the sixth time in succession for an overall +.6 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” jumps from tenth to eighth. It overtakes Emmis’ similar-formatted WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop,” which sits at 3.9 for the fourth time in the last five ratings periods (3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+) and repeats at #9. After posting four straight modest gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “Hot” dropped one-tenth in July. An overall -1.6 via three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW is a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). Moreover, “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 14th successive sweep. Prior to July, the last time WLTW fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Its urban contemporary sibling, WWPR, continues a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+) as “Power 105.1” climbs from #12 to #11. In the market’s hot AC battle, Entercom’s WNEW “New 102.7,” whose April through August topline was 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.7 – 3.0 (6+), is off two-tenths to 2.8 (#13 to a four-way tie at #13), while Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” adds one-tenth and is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.3 (May through September, #18 to #17, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit steady in sixth-place, iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” is down or flat for the fourth time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+). Repeating August’s 1.2 (6+), Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” inches up from #28 to #27. Flat in May (.8 – .8, 6+), and then up one-tenth in June, July, and August (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” drops two-tenths to .9 (6+) and remains at #32. Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” logs a .4 (6+) for the fourth month in a row and stays at #41 (6+). Matching the (6+) August – September (1.2 – 1.2) topline of KRLA is iHeartMedia-owned Los Angeles Dodgers flagship KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports,” which triples its 6+-stat (+.8) through eight successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2, #28 to #27, 6+). Tied with news/talk KEIB is sports talk KSPN “710 ESPN,” which bounces back from August’s -.4 with a +.1 to .9 (#33 to #32, 6+). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). A decrease of just one-tenth (3.1 – 3.0, 6+) is enough to force Entercom’s KNX from the top ten (#9 to #11); “1070 News Radio” added four-tenths in August. Down six-tenths in April, KNX followed with in an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+). Over the course of the last seven sweeps, Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (unchanged at #16) has a 6+ topline of 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Within two-share range (6+) in each of the last 12 ratings periods, Meruelo Group rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” busts out a +.6 to 3.2 (6+), catapulting from #15 to #9. On top for the fifth straight sweep, iHeartMedia hot AC KBIG is nonetheless off one-tenth for the third sweep in a row. In fact, its seven most recent trends are: 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 (6+). Dating back to December 2015, “My-FM” has set the pace on 17 of the past 37 Los Angeles sweeps: February 2017 through November 2017; January and February 2018; and May 2018 through September 2018. Remaining in the runner-up slot is Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” which continues a repetitive 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 (6+) sequence. A collective +.7 in five straight months without a loss (4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.7 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+), smooth AC cluster-mate KTWV was then a combined six-tenths in three straight dips (4.8 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+). In September, however, “94.7 The Wave” improves by four-tenths to 4.6 (fifth to fourth, 6+). An overall -.7 in six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KIIS picked up four-tenths in August, but “102.7 Kiss-FM” returns half that increase in September (4.6 – 4.4, -.2, 6+), slipping from third to fifth. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-programmed KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” – which had logged a 2.7 (6+) in May, June, and July before adding one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) in August – sputters by one-half share to 2.3 (6+), plummeting from #12 to #20. In six straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+), co-owned KROQ was a combined +.7, but the alternative outlet drops one-tenth to 2.8 (#11 to #14, 6+). Its format foe, iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” is off a combined nine-tenths in four declines in succession (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, #19 to #20, 6+). After logging a 2.1 (6+) the past three consecutive months, Univision Radio regional Mexican KSCA drops one-tenth to 2.0 (#21 to #22, 6+); “Zona Mx 101.9” is within 2.1 – 2.8 range (6+) for the 20th ratings period in a row. Similarly, Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO “Go Country 105” (#20 to #17, 6+) is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 35th time in succession and is without a loss for the fourth straight time (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+) for a net gain of three-tenths.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Bouncing back from August’s one-half share loss with a gain of three-tenths (2.5 – 2.8, 6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN climbs from #17 to #16. Entering the August sweep, the Chicago White Sox flagship posted three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). When WGN picked up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). The May through September topline trending for Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM is 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 (#23 to #22, 6+). Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Having logged a fluctuation of one-tenth in each of the last three months (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Entercom sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” trots out a +.8 to 4.3 (eighth to sixth, 6+). Off two-tenths in back-to-back reports (2.7 – 2.5 – 2.3, 6+), the Chicago Cubs flagship rebounded with a +1.3 in April and May (2.3 – 3.2 – 3.6, 6+). Without an increase for seven successive sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP “ESPN Chicago 1000” is up two-tenths to 1.2 (#26 to #24, 6+). After six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WBBM-AM adds two-tenths to 4.8 (sixth to fourth, 6+); February’s 5.3 its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. A combined -.8 in four straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+), Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is up one-tenth to 2.3 (flat at #20, 6+); it was an overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+). A March increase of three-tenths ended six straight down or flat sweeps that resulted in a collective -.7 (2.9 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – While on top for the ninth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” (6.0 – 5.7, -.3, 6+) has its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (5.7, as well). WVAZ was up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, May – June – July, 6+). Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). In a highly-noteworthy eight straight up or flat trends (2.5 – 3.3 – 3.3 – 4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.5, 6+), Hubbard’s WDRV more than doubled its 6+-stat (a combined +3.0). In September, however, “97.1 The Drive – Chicago’s Classic Rock” forfeits more than one-third of that increase (4.4, -1.1, second to fifth, 6+). Upon entering the September sweep, co-owned hot AC WTMX was no higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the previous seven sweeps; however, “101.9 The Mix” regresses by eight-tenths to 4.1 (6+), sliding from fourth to seventh. A combined -.6 in July and August (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+), iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted WLIT erases half the deficit in September with a +.3 to 3.2 (#15 to #12, 6+). Immediately prior to that, “93.9 Lite FM” notched three increases in succession for an overall gain of four-tenths (3.1 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Following August’s eight-tenths’ leap, Moody Bible Institute religious teaching WMBI “90.1 Moody Radio” surrenders more than half that increase (1.7 – 1.2, -.5, #24, 6+). Via three consecutive upticks, Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM is a cumulative +1.2 (4.2 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, third to second, 6+). Before surrendering one-tenth in June, “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” was an overall +1.6 in seven consecutive sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Up or flat for the fifth successive month for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE carries on at #13. Seven-tenths ahead of “100.3 SHE” is Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP “FM 87.7 Me TV,” which is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the eighth month in a row and up or flat for the third successive time (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, seventh to eighth, 6+). Entercom’s WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” (3.3 – 3.7, +.4, tenth to ninth, 6+) has a more than two-to-one advantage over iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” (1.8 – 1.6, -.2, #22 to #23, 6+). This is the 14th straight time that “US-99” is within 3.0 – 3.9 range.

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – Following four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO falters by a combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, #12 to #15, 6+). Prior to gaining two-tenths in March, KSFO was a combined -1.3 in five straight decreases, (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). As a result of forfeiting three-quarters of August’s +.4 (2.1 – 1.8, -.3, 6+), cluster-mate KGO departs the top twenty (#20 to #22). The August increase ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.3 (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). After trending 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.7 (6+) since April, co-owned San Francisco Giants flagship KNBR spirals by eight-tenths to 2.9 (6+) and fades from the top ten (#5 to #14). “The Sports Leader” gained nine-tenths in April. Chipping away at July’s -1.1 (2.6 – 1.5, 6+), Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is a combined +.5 in August and September (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0, #22 to #21, 6+). Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, the key station of the Oakland A’s had been without a loss the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). This marks the eighth time in a row that sibling KCBS-AM (5.7 – 5.3, -.4, 6+) finishes in the runner-up slot. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, the all-news operation was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July. In advance of posting a one-tenth gain in June, KCBS-AM had been down or flat the previous four sweeps for a net loss of eight-tenths (6.2 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+). It is 1.5 shares (6+) behind Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (6.8, +.4, 6+), which is #1 for the eighth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths pulls the plug on five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” notches a one-half share for the fifth time in the last seven monthlies (.5 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, #32, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – Steady at #4, Entercom-owned hot AC KLLC is up or flat for the fourth straight time for a +.5 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Prior to June’s increase, “Alice @ 97.3” was off eight-tenths via four successive declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). Adult contemporary cluster-mate KOIT-FM “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” regresses by a collective -.7 in four straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, ninth to tenth, 6+). Unchanged at #3 is iHeartMedia’s similarly-formatted KISQ “98.1 The Breeze,” which is -.4 in three modest dips in succession (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+), after being an overall +.6 via four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+). Improving by one-half share each and making healthy ranker moves in the process are Bonneville urban AC KBLX “102.9 The Soul of the Bay” (3.3 – 3.8, tenth to fourth, 6+); iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI “Star 101.3” (3.2 – 3.7, #11 to #6, 6+); and co-owned KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” (2.7 – 3.2, #15 to #10, 6+). This is the best 6+-stat for “Star” since February’s 3.8. Meanwhile, the last time KOSF reached the three-share level was nearly three years ago (3.0, October 2015). In four straight up or flat sweeps, Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN is an overall +.7 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0, #12 to #13, 6+). Prior to August, “107.7 The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – An increase of two-tenths to 2.4 (6+) is enough to send Cumulus Media’s WBAP  back into the top twenty (#21 to #19). Preceding the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer,” which had been without an increase the past four months for an overall -.3 (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+), gains two-tenths to .9 (6+) and is steady at #34. Down or flat four consecutive ratings periods (.6 – .6 – .6 – .5 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” adds one-tenth to .5 (flat at #25, 6+). Displaying a repetitive 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 6+-topline, co-owned sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” continues at #16. The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) that “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June by a -1.2. Although level at 2.3 (6+), Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” drops from #19 to a three-way tie at #20. Prior to August, “The Fan” had been down by one-tenth in each of the previous three sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). In advance of a +.5 in April, the Texas Rangers flagship posted five straight negative trends that resulted in a -1.2 (3.1 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3 – 2.1 – 1.9, 6+). The ten most recent 6+-stats for ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” (#33 to #32) are 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.0 – .9 – .9 – 1.0. Despite being a consistent 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 (6+) from June through September, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” exits the top twenty (#19 to #23). In fact, going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Prior to August’s +.2, “News Radio 1080” was a collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). A loss of two-tenths in March ended at seven a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted seven-tenths (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, 6+). After notching a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps, North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA posts a +.4 to 3.0 (#18 to #14, 6+).

Dallas Music Formats – At the same time that WAY Media contemporary Christian KAWA “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” improves by seven-tenths (1.6 – 2.3, #20, 6+), First Dallas Media’s similarly-formatted KCBI “90.9 Encouraging Music – Words of Hope” regresses by one-half share (2.0 – 1.5, #27, 6+). It is the lowest 6+-share for KCBI since “Holiday” 2017’s 1.3. As the result of five straight sweeps without a loss, City of Dallas-owned WRR “Classical 101” more than doubles (+1.7) its 6+ share (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, #15 to #13, 6+). At #1 for the ninth straight month, iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” follows August’s +1.1 (5.5 – 6.6, 6+) with a loss of four-tenths to 6.2 (6+). “Kiss” was a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+), after a +1.5 via three upticks in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). When “Kiss” reached #1 in January, it was the first time the mainstream CHR held the lead position since March 2017. Without a loss for five successive sweeps for a +.7 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” surrenders four-tenths to 2.7 (#13 to #18, 6+). Notwithstanding it is down or flat  for the sixth time in a row (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+), Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” climbs from sixth to fifth. It is two-tenths behind co-owned and similarly-programmed KSCS “New Country 96.3” (flat at 4.3 and steady at #3, 6+). When KSCS dropped nine-tenths in August, it curtailed seven successive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – Off a combined nine-tenths in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH tumbles from #13 to #16; “News Radio 740” improved by six-tenths in January. Among the market’s sports talk competitors, iHeartMedia-owned Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 (unchanged at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” gains two-tenths (.9 – 1.1, 6+) yet backslides from #23 to #24, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC returns August’s +.1 (.6 – .7 – .6, 6+) but “ESPN 97.5” remains at #27. Albeit flat at 3.2 (6+), University of Houston news/talk KUHF advances from #17 to #16, where it is tied with KTRH.

Houston Music Formats – An overall -1.3 in three straight negative moves (4.8 – 4.4 – 4.2 – 3.5, 6+), Radio One rhythmic CHR KBXX “97.9 The Box” responds with a +.4 to 3.9 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#14 to #9). In August, “The Box” slipped below a four-share (3.5, 6+) for the first time since July 2017’s 3.9. In addition to being on top for the fifth month in a row, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is up six-tenths in three straight up or flat trends (7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Having finished first in four successive sweeps, “Sunny 99.1” segued to second in March, but then rebounded from a -1.1 in March with an April +.8 to return to the top spot. Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. A cumulative -1.5 in June and July (7.2 – 6.5 – 5.7, 6+), Radio One urban AC KMJQ responds with a collective +.7 in August and September (5.7 – 6.3 – 6.4, 6+). “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” remains in the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; it was tied for #1 in April. On the heels of gaining four-tenths in August to 4.2 (6+), Entercom Spanish contemporary KLOL “Mega 101” forfeits twice that increase with a September loss of eight-tenths (3.4, 6+), drifting from #9 to #15. In advance of the August sweep, “Mega 101” had a March – July 6+ topline of 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.9 – 3.8 – 3.8. Adult hits cluster-mate KKHH “95.7 The Spot,” which was +1.2 in four straight positive spikes (4.5 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.7, 6+), surrenders just over half that combined increase (5.0, -.7, third to seventh, 6+). Dating back to “Holiday” 2017, Cox Media Group classic rock KGLK was an overall +1.4 in eight straight up or flat trends (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7 – 5.7, 6+). The string ends in September though as “Houston’s Eagle” is off four-tenths to 5.3 (third to fourth, 6+). KGLK’s 5.7 in July and August is its strongest 6+-performance since 5.9 in October 2017.

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – Down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+), Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM rebounds in September with a +.4 to 7.9 and is #1 for the 34th consecutive time. When WSB-AM gained three-tenths in June, it halted three consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Leveling out at 1.3 (6+), following August’s -1.0 (2.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” continues at #21. WYAY was a collective +.5 in June and July (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). Prior to April’s 2.0 (6+), WYAY recorded a 1.8 (6+) in January, February, and March. A combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), following an April increase of seven-tenths, Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” is now an overall +1.1 in three upticks in a row (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3, #16 to #15, 6+). Doubling the two-tenths it picked up in August (2.0 – 2.4, +.4, 6+), Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” carries on at #18. When the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Down or flat five sweeps in a row for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+), City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE recoups half that deficit (seven-tenths) in August and September (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8, #12 to #11, 6+). April – September stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#25 to #23) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .8 – .8 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – An increase of three-tenths to 5.5 (fifth to fourth, 6+) by Cox Media Group adult contemporary WSB-FM “B-98.5” pulls the plug on four down or flat sweeps in succession for a collective loss of seven-tenths (5.9 – 5.8 – 5.6 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). An overall -.9 in July and August (4.3 – 4.0 – 3.4, 6+), urban AC sibling WALR “Kiss 104.1 – Atlanta’s R&B” erases two-thirds of that shortage with a +.6 to 4.0 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#13 to #10). “Kiss” posted three negative trends in succession for an overall loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.3 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), but was up seven-tenths in June. This Georgia metro’s two CHR rivals again finish back-to-back, only in September, iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” (ninth to seventh, 6+) emerges ahead of Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100, Atlanta’s New Hits” (unchanged at #8, 6+). “Power” is without a loss for the fifth straight time for a cumulative gain of one full-share (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+), while “Q-100” is up three-tenths in four straight up or flat moves (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). Locked on 6.6 (6+) in June and July, classic hits-oldies sibling WSRV notched a one-half share increase in August to 7.1 (6+), but “97.1 The River” surrenders seven-tenths to 6.4 (6+), segueing from second to third. Three positive spikes in a row by Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH netted a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+), but “The Fish” falters by six-tenths to 5.3 (fourth to fifth, 6+). August’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 6.0. Following a May through August (repetitive 6+) sequence of 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, Radio One-owned WHTA “Hot 107.9” surrenders one-half share to 4.2 (seventh to ninth, 6+). In the market’s country contest, iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” is off one-tenth (3.8 – 3.7, #11 to #12. 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” adds one-tenth (3.3 – 3.4, flat at #14, 6+). A one-tenth May setback by “The Bull” ended four increases in a row for an overall gain of six-tenths (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+); it was then -.7 in June. July’s 3.9 by “Kicks” is the station’s  best 6+-showing since August 2017 (3.9, as well). Not only does Entercom hot AC WSTR have its consecutive string of up or flat monthlies that yielded a collective +1.4 end at four (2.5 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+), “Star 94.1 – Today’s Hits” exits the top ten (3.6, -.3, #10 to #13). Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted for the fourth month in a row.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Continuing its winning ways, Entercom’s WPHT is +1.3 in five straight positive spikes (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8, #15 to #14, 6+). “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” (#21 to #22) is off two-tenths to 1.3, its weakest 6+-showing in Philadelphia since December 2017 (1.3, as well). After logging a +.7 in August, Entercom sports talk WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” levels out at 5.9 and remains in sixth-place (6+). Prior to August, WIP was a collective -1.7 in three straight decreases (6.9 – 6.1 – 5.6 – 5.2, 6+). The Phillies flagship was an overall +2.6 (January); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); and +.7 in August. Flat at #18, Beasley Media Group sports talk WPEN-FM is without a gain for the fifth time in succession for an overall decline of one full-share (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+); “97.5 The Fanatic” was +.9 in January. On the heels of an August +.7 to 5.2 (6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” slips by one-tenth to 5.1 but continues in eighth-place (6+). In four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), KYW was -1.5. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave “News Radio 1060” its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April. An August increase of one-half share by WHYY discontinued three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+), but the public news/talk outlet drops one-tenth in September (3.8 – 3.7, 6+) and stays at #10.

Philadelphia Music Formats – Not only does iHeartMedia CHR WIOQ jump from #13 to #11 with a one-half share increase to 3.5 (6+), “Q-102 Philly’s #1 Hit Music Station” applies the brakes to four straight decreases that accounted for a collective -.8 (3.8 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+). Over and above racking up its third improvement in a row for a +1.9 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), co-owned WDAS-FM marches from second to first. August’s 7.3 marked the first time “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” reached the seven-share level (6+) since September 2017’s 7.1. Immediately prior to a loss of one-half share in June, WDAS-FM was an overall +.8 in three straight positive spikes (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). Ousted from the top spot and shifting to second is Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s,” which is a combined -1.2 in August and September (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0, 6+). This comes immediately after six straight gains for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. When WOGL reached #1 in that sweep, it was the first time the station occupied that spot since August 2017. In five straight sweeps without a loss (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia alternative WRFF gained a collective four-tenths, but “Radio 104.5 Philadelphia’s Alternative” falters by six-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and departs the top ten (#10 to #12). Unchanged at #4, WBEB “Today’s 101.1 More FM” is a collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). WBEB had been on top from March through June but was dislodged from the top spot in July. In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016.        Entercom is now operating WBEB under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA), until it officially closes on its $57.5 million purchase of the Jerry Lee Radio adult contemporary outlet.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” was a collective -1.3, but the key station of the New York Mets recaptures one full-share (2.8, 6+) and rockets back into the top twenty (#22 to #13). Before surrendering three-tenths in March, WOR was an overall +.8 in three straight gains (2.0 – 2.1 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC adds two-tenths to 1.5 (#23). Its +.1 in August stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+). Despite dropping two-tenths (5.2 – 5.0, 6+), Entercom’s WFAN repeats at #1. August’s 5.2 is its strongest 6+-showing in Long Island since November 2017’s 5.9. “Sports Radio” was -1.1 in February; a collective +1.8 in April and May (2.9 – 4.0 – 4.7, 6+); -.5 in June; and the New York Yankees’ flagship was +.7 in July. WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June, July, and August, WCBS-AM adds two-tenths to 2.7 (#15 to #14, 6+). The Entercom all-news operation gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). It is tied with co-owned and similarly-formatted WINS (2.8 – 2.7, -.1, #13 to #14, 6+). Prior to the September sweep, WINS showed a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths four straight times: +.3 (May); -.3 (June); -.3 (July); and +.3 (August). Checking in at #19, WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM is trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (February 2018 – September 2018, 6+).

Long Island Music Formats – It remains tight at the top, as the first six Nassau-Suffolk September 2018 finishers are separated by seven-tenths of a share. Despite dropping four-tenths (5.1 – 4.7, 6+), Connoisseur Media hot AC WALK-FM remains in the runner-up slot. “Real Variety 97.5” was ousted from the penthouse in July after nine straight months there. Its +.1 in August halted seven successive sweeps without an increase for an overall -7.6 (12.6 – 7.4 – 7.4 – 7.0 – 6.1 – 5.8 – 5.1 – 5.0, 6+). A one-half share decline (2.6 – 2.1, 6+) sends Entercom’s similarly-programmed WNEW “New 102.7” from #14 to #18. One-tenth behind is its NYC format rival – Cumulus Media’s WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (2.2 – 2.0, -.2, #18 to #19, 6+). Mirroring WALK-FM’s (6+) August – September 5.1 – 4.7 profile and thus part of the four-way tie at #2 is its classic hits-oldies sibling WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which gained one-half share in August (4.6 – 5.1, 6+). In five straight down or flat trends, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WCBS-FM was a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regains one  full-share in August and September (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, 6+). It moves from #5 to that aforementioned four-way logjam at #2. Included in that scrum as well is iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ “Z-100,” which is flat or down slightly for the fifth straight time for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7, 6+) yet actually moves up from #4. Off one-tenth (2.5 – 2.4, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” (#15 to #16) is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 47th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after dropping four-tenths in August to 1.3 (6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR regains one-tenth (1.4, #13 to #12, 6+). KVCR nearly doubled its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). In advance of the February sweep, KVCR was +.4 via three minor upticks in a row (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.3, 6+). Without an increase for the fourth Inland Empire sweep in succession (.5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” manages to climb from #19 to #17. It is tied with iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE,” which after debuting in July with a .2 (6+), gained one-tenth in August (.3, 6+) and is flat in September (.3, 6+). Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July with a .2 (6+); dropped one-tenth to .1 (6+) in August; and adds one-tenth in September (.2, #21, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC)/similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the eighth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – In an absolute runaway, the honors for largest (6+) August 2018 – September 2018 gain by any station in the 12 PPM-markets noted here goes to Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” (7.4 – 9.9, +2.5, 6+). Not only that, “Jose” finishes first for the fourth successive sweep and is +5.3 in five straight positive spikes (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). The last time KLYY reached the nine-share level (6+) was in February 2017 (9.2). Continuing in the runner-up slot, Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA is a collective +.9 in three successive monthlies without a loss (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+). Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). In four straight sweeps without a loss (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.8, 6+), LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE is a collective +1.3 as “Old School 104.7” carries on at #6. Following four straight Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario decreases for an overall -1.8 (5.3 – 4.9 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” posts a +.6 to 4.1 (6+) and is steady at #5. A collective +1.5 in June and July (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.9), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR KGGI relinquished 80% of that increase in August (3.7, -1.2, 6+); however, “99.1 Riverside’s Hottest Hit Music” answers with a +.5 in September to 4.2 and continues in fourth-place. Improving by one-half share as well is All-Pro Broadcasting adult contemporary KATY “101.3 The Mix” (1.1, #17 – #14, 6+), which had notched a .6 in four of the last five sweeps (.6 – .6 – .7. – .6 – .6, 6+). In three consecutive losses, Entercom country outlet KFRG was -1.5 (5.9 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.4, 6+), but “K-Frog” picks up one-tenth to 4.5 and carries on at #3. When KFRG sputtered by four-tenths in June, it snapped at four a consecutive string of increases that netted an overall +1.3 (4.6 – 4.9 – 5.4 – 5.8 – 5.9, 6+). Faltering by six-tenths each are Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM “96.7 Rocks” (ninth to tenth, 6+), which is -1.0 in four straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8, 6+) and Lazer Licenses’ Spanish adult hits KCAL-AMLa Mexicana 1410” (.7 – .1, #16 to #23, 6+). Meanwhile, Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” is without a gain for the fifth straight month for a collective -.6 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .1, #21 to #23, 6+). Entering the August sweep, iHeartMedia Spanish adult hits KFOO recorded a .3 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.3 – .3 – .5 – .3, 6+). “La Preciosa 1440 AM” erupted with a +.7 to 1.0 (6+), only to disappear from print in September.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – This is the third increase in a row for Cumulus Media’s KGO for a cumulative +1.1 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+). July’s increase stopped four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). Co-owned news/talk KSFO, however, relinquishes exactly half of its 6+-share (-1.1) in three consecutive downward moves (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, #21 to #27, 6+). Prior to July, KSFO was without a loss the previous five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). Immediately after registering a +.8 to halt three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -1.0 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), sports talk cluster-mate KNBR “The Sports Leader” spirals by one full-share (4.4 – 3.4, seventh to tenth, 6+). The San Francisco Giants flagship posted a +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. The six most recent San Jose topline stats for Entercom sports talk/Oakland A’s flagship KGMZ “95.7 The Game” are 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – unlisted – .6 – .8 (6+). Even though it loses the one-tenth it gained in August (6.4 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+), all-news sibling KCBS-AM remains in second-place. Its -.8 in July curtailed four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). Bouncing back from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 to 6.2 (6+), Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED progresses from sixth to fourth. Between January 2018 – June 2018, KQED and KCBS-AM finished first and second, respectively. A June increase of six-tenths by KQED followed a combined -1.9 in April and May (8.8 – 8.2 – 6.9, 6+); it was +1.0 in January.

San Jose Music Formats – As a result of three upticks in succession (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KOSF “iHeart80s @ 103.7” has doubled its 6+-share (+1.7) and vaults into the top ten (#18 to #10). A July gain of seven-tenths by adult contemporary cluster-mate KISQ interrupted four straight negative trends that produced a loss of nine-tenths (4.5 – 4.4 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+). In August, “98.1 The Breeze” surrendered eight-tenths, but it recaptures seven-tenths in September (3.5 – 4.2, ninth to seventh, 6+). Erasing in full August’s -.5 with a September +.6 (3.0 – 2.5 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KSOL “Que Buena” advances from #15 to #13. Enjoying an increase of six-tenths as well are University of Southern California classical KDFC (1.8 – 2.4, #19, 6+) and Entercom urban AC KBLX (1.2 – 1.8, #22, 6+). KBLX cluster-mate, KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” is a collective +1.7 in three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+) and is #1  for the third straight month. As the result of six consecutive sweeps without a loss (1.9 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.7, 6+), Cumulus Media triple A KFOG was up eight-tenths, but has that increase wiped out in full (1.9, -.8, 6+) and drifts from the top twenty (#13 to #21). After recording five gains in a row for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” returns one-third of that increase (5.4, -.7, fifth to sixth, 6+). Alpha Media hot AC KEZR “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music,” which had been +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), is now -.9 in August and September (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, flat at #8, 6+).

Middlesex

Spoken-Word Formats – There is more good news for Townsquare Media news/talker WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” which is #1 for the third month in a row and +2.0 in four straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0, 6+). Moreover, this (8.0) is its best 6+-share since March (8.1). “New Jersey 101.5” was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. WKXW was a combined -2.1 in April and May (8.1 – 7.3 – 6.0, 6+) and posted a +.9 in January to advance from second to first with its strongest 6+-stat since April 2016’s 8.5. Up or flat for the third time in a row for a +.6 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR returns to the top twenty (#22 to #20). The New York Mets flagship was off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). The January – September 6+ topline for Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (flat at #25) is: 1.5 – 1.6 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5.      Remaining at #10, Entercom sports talk and Yankees’ key station WFAN has its fourth Middlesex-Somerset-Union decrease in a row for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight positive spikes that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Sports talk WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is up eight-tenths via three positive spikes in a row (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5, #20 – #18, 6+). The March through September topline for Entercom all-news WCBS-AM (#22) is 2.9  – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5 – unlisted – 1.7 – 1.9 (6+). Stuck on 1.1 (6+) in March and April, all-news sibling WINS has now recorded a 1.7 (#23 to #24, 6+) for the fifth straight time. Tied with WCBS-AM at #22 is WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM, which drops two-tenths to 1.9 (6+). An August gain of three-tenths halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6).

Middlesex Music Formats – Off seven-tenths in July and August (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WHTZ “Z-100” roars back with a +1.0 to 5.4 (fifth to second, 6+). Even though it notches its third increase in succession for an overall +.6 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+), classic rock cluster-mate WAXQ “Q-104.3” backslides from fourth to fifth. Faltering by eight-tenths (6.0 – 5.2, 6+), Emmis urban AC WBLS “107.5 #1 For R&B” slips from second to third. Its rhythmic CHR sibling – WQHT “Hot 97” – wipes out August’s +.3 with an August -.5 (3.8 – 4.1 – 3.6, sixth to eighth, 6+). Prior to August, “Hot” was within three-share range (6+) in each of the prior 13 sweeps. Posting identical 3.5 – 3.2 (-.3, #12 to #14, 6+) profiles are Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites,” which was down one-half share in August; Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9,” down for the third straight time (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+); and iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1.” Despite being down for the fifth consecutive month for an overall -1.4 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” advances from #12 to #11.

Friday, February 16, 2017

| February 16, 2018

Warner Wolf Files Suit Against Imus, Cumulus, and Others.  According to a story in today’s New York Post, Warner Wolf is suing Don Imus and several Cumulus Media and WABC, New York managers for age discrimination.  Warner Wolf served as the sports reporter on the “Imus in the Morning” program until he exited the show at the end of 2016.  According to the complaint, Wolf – who was 78 at the time of his departure from the show – says he was replaced by the younger Sid Rosenberg.  That move followed what Wolf claims was a number of comments from Imus about his age, including such Imus-like quips that Wolf needed “to be put out to pasture” and “shoot him with an elephant dart gun.”  Wolf also names Cumulus EVP of content and programming Mike McVay, Cumulus New York market manager Chad Lopez, and WABC program director Craig Schwalb.  Wolf says in the complaint that he took a large pay cut as part of a deal to work from his home in Florida and that Imus didn’t like the arrangement.  He also says he was denied his due severance.  He’s seeking $97,500 in severance plus damages.  Cumulus and WABC have not commented publicly about the suit.

Ryan Maguire to Leave WQAM to Program KIRO-FM, Seattle.  After spending the past three years in South Florida programming Entercom’s sports talk WQAM, Miami, program director Ryan Maguire is heading to the Pacific Northwest to take the PD role at Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Maguire announced the news via social media, saying, “Starting March 12th, I will be taking over as Director of News and Programming at @KIRORadio in Seattle. @angelblas17 and myself are excited to become part of the community. Thank you to everyone from @560WQAM for letting me share in your successes over the last 3 years.”  No word from Entercom yet about its plans to fill the program director post at WQAM.

WTIC-AM, Hartford Ends Relationship with UConn Sports.  This is surprising news out of Hartford, but Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says the bottom line is the company could not reach an agreement with University of Connecticut sports rights holder IMG Sports that made fiscal sense.  The current deal between IMG and WTIC ends at the conclusion of this college basketball season.  Zachary says, “I have the highest respect for UConn athletic director David Benedict and his goals for the university.  Having grown up in Connecticut, there’s a special place in my heart for UConn Basketball.  However, I couldn’t justify what they were seeking when compared to more successful partnerships Entercom enjoys with elite Power 5 institutions.”  Zachary says WTIC will continue to place a high priority on local sports coverage and will sharpen its focus on the Boston Red Sox, New York Giants, and New England Patriots, all of whose games are broadcast on the station.

TALKERS News Notes. Through a joint effort of AXS TV and KMG Networks, a radio version of “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” is being offered to stations.  Westwood One is handling sales efforts.  A press release from KMG says stations will receive an audio version of the series; a corresponding video segment to post on station websites, mobile apps, and social media channels; and custom liners and promos featuring Rather.  AXS TV CEO Jeff Cuban adds, “Stations around the country now have access to an impressive roster of unique, insightful, and candid conversations Dan had with some of the most influential figures in rock, including:   Crosby Stills & Nash, Gene Simmons, Carlos Santana, Pat Benatar, Heart, Gregg Allman, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, Sammy Hagar, Neil Young, Billy Gibbons, and Roger Waters.”…..Two NPR personalities move into prime positions with the public radio network’s drive time news programs.  Noel King is joining “Morning Edition” and Ailsa Chang is now part of the “All Things Considered” air staff.  Both King and Chang have been serving as reporters for the “Planet Money” podcast…..Entercom sports talk WIP, Philadelphia is giving Eagles fans some programming with which to relive the NFL team’s Super Bowl championship.  The station is rebroadcasting Super Bowl LII in its entirety on Sunday (2/18) at 2:00 pm.  Immediately following the game, the station will air a one-hour special titled, “Long Time, First Time: The Story of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles,” hosted by 94WIP’s Rob Charry.

Florida School Massacre Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 12-16.  The assault on students and faculty at a high school in Florida that took the lives of 17 people was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the status of the DACA Act and the Trump Administration’s immigration policy.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia investigation being conducted by Robert Mueller, and U.S. intelligence sources’ reports that Russian agents are trying to meddle in the 2018 mid-term elections was #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com View this week’s entire chart here.

CURB YOUR DOGMA! Podcaster David Smalley Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Speaker, activist, author, publisher, comedian, humanist, former evangelical Christian-turned-atheist and successful podcaster David Smalley is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Smalley hosts a long-running podcast series titled, “Dogma Debate,” in which he expresses his passion for skepticism and truth by respectfully challenging well-known, highly opinionated guests to defend their dogma. In this installment, Harrison presents another deep-dive interview into the rabbit hole between media and culture as he and Smalley discuss the age-old debate between science and religion, as well as number of contentious contemporary issues. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box for “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Comrex to Debut New EarShot IFB at NAB 2018.  This update in interruptible fold back technology was, according to Comrex sales director Chris Crump, something that needed to happen.  “We’d visit TV stations and see banks of old telephone auto-couplers connected to expensive analog phone lines.  Most other phone tech has transitioned to Voice-over-IP, but remote IFB audio remains stuck in the last century.”  Interruptible fold back is used by television and radio production facilities to allow producers to break into (interrupt) a talent’s audio feed – the fold back – and give direction.  The new Comrex EarShot IFB provides telephone-based, live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts.  Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot IFB with a mobile phone.  EarShot IFB can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds.  For higher fidelity, smartphone apps can be used to pull the audio in studio quality.  EarShot IFB can be connected to low-cost cloud-based VoIP service, or tied to a station’s VoIP PBX.  Comrex technical director Tom Hartnett adds, “With our years of experience in putting VoIP calls on air, it was a no-brainer to provide a simple hardware solution to the IFB problem.  The folks we talked to were sick of paying for a dozen or more POTS lines to provide this function.  EarShot IFB will pay for itself within a couple of months in phone service savings alone.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Texas radio pro Al Farb is named APD and afternoon drive personality at Cumulus Media’s country KSCS, Dallas.  Farb comes to Dallas from the Cox Media Group operations in Houston where he was most recently an executive producer and air talent at KKBQ-FM and KTHT-FM.  KSCS program director Mac Daniels states, “After a very extensive search, I’m confident that Al is the right fit for this position. KSCS will benefit greatly from his passion for radio, his knowledge of the format and his skill set. I’m very excited to have him as part of this team.”…..Upstate New York classic rocker WOUR, Utica is changing hands as Townsquare Media agrees to pay $3.95 million to Galaxy Communications.  Townsquare already owns classic hits WODZ “96.1 The Eagle,” adult contemporary WLZW Lite 98.7,” country WFRG “Big Frog 104,” and news/talk WIBX-AM in the Utica-Rome market…..On-air pro Marty Young is recruited by Scripps-owned country outlet KVOO, Tulsa to join “The Voo Crew” morning show, taking over the role vacated by Rowdy Yates, who exited last September.  Young was most recently part of the morning show at Curtis Media’s country WQDR, Raleigh-Durham…..Nationally syndicated morning radio personality Tom Joyner announces that the annual Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage cruise is welcoming family dining chain Denny’s as a presenting sponsor.  The Carnival Breeze cruise sets sail from Galveston April 29 through May 6, 2018.  The Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage will feature more than 60 live entertainment acts, including “An Evening with Anita Baker” and performances from popular artists Chris Brown, Tamar Braxton, The O’Jays, The Isley Brothers, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, En Vogue, 112, SWV and more. The cruise raises funds to support students in school at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country…..Pictured below are the cast of KLOS, Los Angeles’ Frosty, Heidei & Frank morning show celebrating after the station raised $725,218 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the “St. Jude Rocks” event held Thursday, February 8, through Friday, February 9. The two-day live broadcast in Los Angeles capped Cumulus Media’s inaugural “St. Jude Rocks” fundraising partnership across 14 of its rock-formatted stations in markets across the U.S.  Below are (from l-r): Patrick Wesson, KLOS programming assistant; Frosty Stilwell; Heidi Hamilton; Frank Kramer; Sammi Marino, associate producer; Erik Scott Smith, executive producer; Lisa May, entertainment reporter and co-host; and Anthony Annese, Frosty, Heidi & Frank social media.

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

| November 7, 2016

Entercom Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 5%.  It was a rosy third quarter for Entercom Communications as it reports net revenue was $120.5 million during the period – up 5% from the same period a year ago.   Station operating income increased 12% to $37.9 million, and adjusted net income per share increased 8% to $0.27. entercomEntercom president and CEO David Field states, “Entercom delivered another solid quarter of organic top-line and bottom-line growth, demonstrating the strength of our great local brands and our outstanding team.  We are also very pleased to have just completed a highly successful refinancing that will lower our annual interest expense by more than $10 million and to have announced a terrific, value-creating acquisition of four stations in Charlotte.  We are excited by the opportunities ahead as we look to finish the year on a strong note and get off to a great start in 2017.”  Entercom is acquiring news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot AC WLNK, and sports talk WFNC in Charlotte from Beasley.  Currently it is operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK under an LMA and expects to close on the stations by the first of the year.  If the purchase of the stations from Beasley doesn’t close by then, it will start operating WFNZ under an LMA, as well.

cbsradioCBS RADIO Reports Flat Q3.  As parent company CBS Corp. prepares to issue an initial public offering on CBS RADIO stock and create a separate company out of the radio segment, it is breaking out the radio numbers from the Local Broadcasting segment.  CBS RADIO’s performance was basically flat comparing the third quarter of 2016 to the same period a year ago.  Net revenue was $319 million compared to $318 million in 2015.

Gann Upped to Regional SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia.  Programming pro Brian Gann is being elevated to regional SVP/programming for iHeartMedia’s Central Texas Region.  Gann has been program director gannbrianfor spoken-word formatted stations in the same region, including news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR in San Antonio and news/talk KVET in Austin.  In this new role, San Antonio-based Gann will “oversee all on-air content as well as music and digital programming for iHM’s 15 radio station brands in the Austin and San Antonio regions.”  He comments, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to program some of the leading radio station brands in Central Texas.  Great things are happening for iHeartMedia in Austin and San Antonio and I am humbled to be a part of it.”

Update on Warner Wolf’s ‘Imus’ Exit.  No one’s talking on the record – neither Don Imus nor WABC – but it appears that sports anchor Warner Wolf’s surprise departure from his role on the “Imus in the Morning” showwolfwarner based at Cumulus Media’s WABC comes as a result of the wishes of Imus himself.  The New York Daily NewsDon Kaplan writes that, when asked why he’s leaving the show, his cagey response was, “You’d have to ask Imus that question.”  As TALKERS reported on Friday, WABC personality Sid Rosenberg is returning to the sports anchor role on the show and he’ll continue to co-host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Bernard McGuirk.  Read the Daily News piece here.

iHeartRadio Names Peterson and Murphy to SVP Positions.  Joining iHeartMedia’s digital platform iHeartRadio are Chris Peterson, to serve as senior vice president of podcasting, and Beth Murphy, as the newpetersonchris senior vice president of marketing.  The company says Peterson will oversee iHeartRadio’s overall murphybethpodcast strategy and grow its profile in the podcast community.  He will guide content partnerships, advise the product team on its podcast roadmap, and work with sales to monetize podcast efforts.  He most recently was content partnerships manager for TuneIn.  He’s also worked as director of operations for The Blaze and the director of affiliate relations for Premiere Networks.  Murphy’s charge is to manage brand messaging and the user lifecycle process, as well as optimize user acquisition and retention.  She will work closely with iHeartRadio’s Chris Williams, chief product officer and Adam Denenberg, chief technology officer to oversee iHeartRadio’s overall streaming music and live digital radio strategy.  Murphy has previously served as chief marketing officer at Deezer and Stitcher.

sabowalterSabo: What Are You Going to Do on Wednesday?  Media consultant Walter Sabo asks that question of talk radio stations that are talking primarily politics most of the time.  What do stations that want to broaden their appeal do after tomorrow’s election?  He ticks off a list of stations whose ratings are growing and states, “Those stations, and others that are growing, present a wide range of subjects and hosts with varying points of view.  The results indicate that the wider the conversation, the higher the ratings.”  Read more from Sabo here.

The St. Louis Post- Dispatch Encourages FCC Complaints About Oldies/Talk KZQZ-AM.  The newspaper has taken an unusual step in publishing an editorial encouraging the public to complain to the FCC about kzqzthe language of talk host Bob Romanik.  The station calls itself “The First Amendment Station” and the newspaper says it is a great supporter of First Amendment rights, “but there’s a line between political expression and hate speech that must not be crossed.”  Romanik’s voice appears in recorded political ads in which he refers repeatedly to St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern as a cross-dresser and “faggot.”  The paper writes, “Listeners must not allow this abuse of the public airwaves to stand.  The Federal Communications Commission needs to hear from anyone who believes Romanik’s hate speech deserves sanction.  Romanik makes GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump seem like a model of good manners and decorum.”  Read the whole editorial here.

Odds & Sods.  At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, air personality and WEEI.com writer Jerry Thornton announces he’s leaving the company to return to Barstool Sports where he’ll write and host his own football podcast.  Thornton joined WEEI two years ago and has been serving as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dale and Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley.  He writes of his decision saying, “You don’t walk away from a job situation like this unless you have an opportunity too good to pass up.  And that’s what Barstool has offered me.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath from his APD position to program director of news/talk WSPD, Toledo…..Former WITI-TV, Milwaukee anchor and reporter Katrina Cravy is signed up to make regular, twice-weekly appearances on the “Mornings with Dave Luczak” show on Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee.  Cravy exited the TV station in September of this year…..FOX News Radio’s election coverage plans include a 6:00 pm start for anchored content with Jared Halpern, Laura Ingle, along with Fox News contributor Tony Sayegh.  Tonya J. Powers and Jon Decker will report live from the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters while Rachel Sutherland and Gurnal Scott will be on hand live from the Trump headquarters.  FNR will have reporters throughout key states and Chad Pergram will cover the congressional race from Capitol Hill.

Beasley Broadcast Group Retains Dan Finn to Lead New Jersey Stations.  On the heels of last week’s closing on the Greater Media stations, Beasley Broadcast Group announces that it is formally bringingfinndan executive Dan Finn into the company’s fold as senior vice president and market manager for the New Jersey cluster.  Finn had been with Greater Media since 2001, first as VP and regional general manager, then as SVP and regional general manager since 2007.  Finn comments, “It’s an honor and privilege to now be a part of the Beasley team.  My staff and I are excited to continue working with these heritage properties for such a legendary broadcasting company.”

The Presidential Race, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI Clears Clinton in Emails Matter, ObamaCare Premiums Soar, Daylight Saving Time Ends, and College and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for the U.S. House and Senate; FBI Director James Comey announces no new investigation into Clinton emails; ObamaCare’s premium increases; the pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time; and the weekend’s college football and NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, November 4, 2016

| November 4, 2016

Dickey Broadcasting Inks 10-Year Deal with Atlanta Braves.  From Atlanta comes news of Dickey Broadcasting Company’s new deal with MLB’s Atlanta Braves that’s described by the WCNN owner as “an wcnnunprecedented” 10-year extension for the company to continue to serve as exclusive radio rights-holder for Braves baseball through 2026.  In addition, Dickey Broadcasting is announcing it will move its studios and offices to a new space in The Battery Atlanta, leasing loft office space on the 4th floor, overlooking the plaza and next to the Coca-Cola Roxy Theater in the new mixed-use development adjacent to the team’s new home – SunTrust Park.  As part of the deal, Dickey’s WCNN and FM translator W229AG at 93.7 will air all regular season, preseason and post-season games – in addition to a plethora of Braves-related out-of-game programming.  Dickey Broadcasting president David Dickey states, “This extension represents a new era for our relationship with one of the most storied franchises in professional sports.  We’ve long been proud partners of the Atlanta Braves and now we’re excited that we can call them our neighbors at The Battery Atlanta.  From expanded coverage opportunities to exclusive programming, we’ll be able to share the best stories from the team to all of Braves Country.”   Dickey Broadcasting will also continue to manage the Braves Radio Network.

Sid Rosenberg to Replace Warner Wolfe on ‘Imus in the Morning.’  There’s been no official statementrosenbergsid from Cumulus or WABC, New York, but it’s being widely reported that longtime “Imus in the Morning” sports anchor Warner Wolfe has “retired” from the Imus show effective immediately.  Former Imus sports anchor (and current late morning WABC personality) Sid Rosenberg tells TALKERS he makes his return to that slot on Monday (11/7).

devilspruiheartDevils, Prudential Center and iHeartMedia Launch The One Jersey Sports and Entertainment Network.  A collaboration between the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, along with iHeartMedia New York results in the launch of The One Jersey Sports and Entertainment Network, a “first-of-its-kind digital platform featuring all live regular season Devils hockey games and original Devils and New Jersey entertainment programming.”  The platform is accessible via the Devils app and via iHeartRadio.  Twenty-three regular season Devils games will be exclusively available on the platform and the rest of the regular season games will be simulcast along with broadcast partner CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York.  A press release adds, “Original programming on The One Jersey Network will include exclusive live and on-demand content from the Devils and Prudential Center featuring Devils coaches, players, alumni and fans; Devils, sports, entertainment, community and cultural podcasts; and diverse, world-class New Jersey-focused entertainment content from The Rock – the home of New Jersey sports and entertainment.  The network will showcase prominent New Jersey personalities, journalists and up-and-coming talent from around the Garden State.  A full programming schedule will be announced at a later date.”

ESPN New York’s Michael Kay and Don La Greca Face Off in ‘The Great Sports Debate.’  On Monday,wepndebate16 ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7 FM” is presenting “The Great Sports Debate” at Fordham University’s Keating Hall, live on the radio and simulcast on the YES Network from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  Afternoon drive personalities (Fordham alum) Michael Kay and Don La Greca “will face each other in a battle of wits about the hottest topics in sports, with Kay show co-host Peter Rosenberg as the moderator.  Celebrity judges Rick DiPietro, Chris Canty and Bill Daughtry from the Hahn & Humpty show decide on the champion.  The live showcase is being presented in conjunction with the school’s Department of Communication and Media Studies.  It’s open to students, faculty and administrators at Fordham. In addition, a few lucky listeners who won an on-air contest will be in attendance.

talkersten-logoElection 2016 Issues Top Talkers TenTM for Week of October 31-November 4.  The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the FBI’s Hillary Clinton emails investigation.  Coming in at #3 was the down-ticket U.S. House and Senate Races, followed by concerns about potential voter fraud and poll tampering at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

deadtimestoriesPodcastOne Debuts Horror Series Starring Malcolm McDowell.  On Halloween Day, PodcastOne launched a new dramatic, suspense series starring Golden Globe nominee Malcolm McDowell.  “Dreadtime Stories” features McDowell taking on roles written by top writers, including Max Allan Collins (“Road to Perdition”) and featuring celebrity guest stars.  Each story has new characters with the recurring elements of nail-biting suspense and dark humor.  New podcasts will be available Mondays on a bi-weekly schedule.  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “This is a great new addition to our dramatic lineup, hosted by Malcolm McDowell, no less.  I just listened to the first episode, and it’s great.”  The series was co-created by Carl Amari, Tom DeFeo and Max Allan Collins and produced/directed by Carl Amari and Fangoria.  Check it out here.

markscarolemaggieCarole Marks Honored for Contributions to the Preservation of Nature.  In a ceremony at their facility in Mystic, Connecticut, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center honored Focus Communications CEO Carole Marks for her tremendous contributions over the years to supporting the organization and its work in preserving nature – specifically flowers, pollinators (butterflies) and birds.  Marks, who hosts the long-running, syndicated upper-demo talk radio weekend show, “A Touch of Grey,” is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on issues of concern to senior citizens and their families.  She is also a dedicated champion in the battle against ageism in American society.  Marks (left) is pictured at the event with the center’s executive director, Maggie Jones (right).

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

| October 18, 2016

Entercom to Acquire Four Charlotte Signals from Beasley for $24 Million.  In order to stay under the FCC ownership cap in the Charlotte market, Beasley Broadcast Group has to sell some of its holdings that would wbtwlnk-duo-logoput if over the cap after the previously announced Greater Media acquisition deal closes.  Now, Beasley announces that Entercom will acquire news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot ACwfnz WLNK-FM (all three currently owned by Greater Media) plus sports talk WFNZ-AM and its accompanying FM translator.  The company says that Entercom will begin operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM upon the closing of the Greater Media deal, pursuant to a time brokerage agreement.  Back on July 19, Beasley and Greater Media entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Beasley will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Greater Media for an aggregate consideration of approximately $240 million, subject to adjustments.

Westwood One to Syndicate WMAL, Washington-Based Chris Plante Show.  Over the years, the WMAL-AM/FM, Washington-based Chris Plante show has aired on other Cumulus Media news/talk stations – it still is heard on the company’s KARN-FM, Little Rock.  Now, the company is getting serious about going beyond DC with the show and Westwood One begins syndication efforts for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program beginningplantechris January 2, 2017.  About the conservative talk personality, WW1 says, “A third-generation media pro, Plante began his radio career at WMAL in 2005 after 17 years inside the Washington bureau at CNN, where he moved up the ranks from researcher and assignment editor to Pentagon correspondent.  During his tenure at CNN, he crisscrossed the globe, covering events from Vietnam and Albania to Jakarta.  He was the director of the U.S. westwood-one-newtelevision network pool operations in Saudi Arabia for three months following Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.  Plante won the Edward R. Murrow Award from the RTDNA for his live coverage of the terrorist attack on the pentagon on September 11, 2001.  He was the first to report that the Pentagon had been attacked. He was also recognized by the Television Academy for his September 11 reporting.  He makes regular appearances on the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes states, “Chris Plante takes the news of the day and breaks it down in his signature direct, funny, and fearless style.  He engages a legion of devoted fans who tune in every day whether they agree with him or not.  He’s a captivating storyteller who makes great radio.  It’s the kind of programming we are proud to add to our best-in-class talk lineup.”

WABC, New York and Westwood One Renew Don Imus.  When January 2, 2017 rolls around, the only difference in morning drive at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York and its Westwood One radio network will be imusdona 9:00 am ET signoff time for New York radio legend Don Imus (right now it’s 10:00 am).  Cumulus announces it has re-signed Imus and his crew to a new multi-year deal for the show to air on 77 WABC Radio from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  It’s been nine years since WABC inked Imus to a morning radio deal after CBS RADIO dropped him from crosstown WFAN in the wake of the “nappy-headed hos” scandal.  Cumulus SVP, content andwabc-logo programming Mike McVay states, “Don Imus is not a media icon.  He is much more than that.  He is an American Icon.  Mr. Imus brings his ‘A’ game every day. And if you miss one day, you miss a lot.  We are thrilled to have Don continue with Westwood One, Cumulus and WABC.”  The cast of executive producer Bernie McGuirk, comedians Rob Bartlett and Tony Powell, producer Lou Rufino, sportscaster Warner Wolf, and news anchor Connell McShane will also remain with the show.  The program is currently followed by “The Bernie & Sid Show” with McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg.  Whether WABC expands that program to 9:00 am to 12:00 noon remains to be seen.

WPRO-AM, Providence’s John DePetro Hosts Red Sox Great Curt Schilling; Former Pitcher Intends to Challenge Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.  During a long interview on the John DePetro program on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling (whoschillingcurt currently hosts a weekend syndicated talk show distributed by the Howie Carr Radio Network) spoke deptrojohnat length about the failed video game company 38 Studios that received a large Rhode Island state loan to locate in Providence.  The company went belly-up and the issue has been a sore spot for a number of politicians in the state, not to mention segments of the public.  During the interview, Schilling also told DePetro that he’s decided – pending approval from his wife Shonda – that he will challenge Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her U.S. Senate seat.  Shonda Schilling later called in to the station to say she has not decided if she’s willing to give approval.  WPRI-TV, Providence reports that a recent WBZ/UMass poll put Warren at 47% and Schilling at 28%.

Entercom to Refinance Debt.  The Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania-based broadcaster announces it is meeting with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC and entercomWells Fargo Securities, LLC today to discuss a refinancing of its senior and senior unsecured debt.  In a press statement, Entercom Communications says it expects to enter into a $520 million senior secured credit facility that will include a $60 million revolving credit facility with a five-year maturity, plus a $460 million term loan with a seven-year maturity.  Entercom will use the term loan to refinance $225 million in existing senior secured bank debt, plus it will buy back $220 million in 10.5% senior subordinated notes.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallCBS News Icon Charles Osgood Is the Subject of this Week’s Harrison Podcast.  Legendary CBS News radio and television giant Charles Osgood is the guest on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (10/18).  Osgood has been hosting (and continues to host) the four-osgoodcharlestimes-per-weekday morning feature “The Osgood Files” via Westwood One on radio stations across the nation since 1971.  He also retired several weeks ago from a 24-year stint as the anchor of television’s CBS News “Sunday Morning” program. Harrison and Osgood talk about changes in media and journalism over the years culminating with a provocative analysis of the current presidential election. To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The Presidential Race, Trump’s Media Conspiracy, Hillary Clinton Emails Scandal, Battle Against ISIS in Mosul, Police Chiefs Group Apology, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/17).  The race for the presidency; Donald Trump’s statements that the election is in jeopardy of being stolen by the media conspiracy against him; allegations that State Department Under-Secretary Michael Kennedy engaged in a quid-pro-quo with the FBI to have some of Hillary Clinton’s emails declassified during the investigation of her use of a private email server for State Department business; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and the fight to retake Mosul; International Association of Chiefs of Police president Terrence Cunningham apologizes for generations of mistrust between police officers and minority communities; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

giordanodomElection 2016: TALKERS Magazine in the Trenches – WPHT, Philadelphia’s Dom Giordano Interviews Michael Harrison About the State of Talk Radio During Current Cycle.  WPHT, Philadelphia midday host Dom Giordano engages in an in-depth conversation with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about the disruptive effect Election 2016 has been having upon conservative talk radio during the current presidential election cycle.  The two talk about how the concept of targeting audiences and preaching to the choir – a modern day strategy of political talk broadcasting – has hit speedbumps on the right with the emergence of Donald Trump and even to a degree on the left with revelations about Bernie Sanders’ candidacy. Harrison says, “We have gone from playing checkers to three dimensional chess.”  To hear the conversation in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Progressive talk media personality Nicole Sandler returns to work after taking time off to treat her cancer.  She says, “It’s been a long couple of months during which my world changed completely.  I had no idea howsandlernicole long my detour to deal with cancer would last, but I’m ready to head back into the land of electoral insanity with just three weeks to go before election day.  If a life-threatening illness had to sideline me for a few months, it surely picked the right time.  And if I wasn’t already sick, covering this year’s presidential madness would have certainly made me ill.  But as we approach the finish line, I have to admit that I’ve been getting a bit antsy in recent days.  Talking back to the TV just wasn’t helping.”  She starts streaming her show – starting one hour from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET – at nicolesandler.com and Progressive millerstephanieVoices Network…..Stephanie Miller’s final “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” date for this year takes place in Los Angeles at the Saban Theater on November 5.  It will be broadcast in movie theaters across the country via Fathom Events on November 7.  Also, Miller’s book, Sexy Liberal! Of Me I Sing, wins the 2016 Wild Card Book Award in the Northern California Book Festival…..Following yesterday’s news about Galaxy Communications’ acquisition of Berkshires Media Group, it’s worth noting that Galaxy has applied to the FCC to move the FM translator it recently bought in South Burlington, Vermont to the Western Massachusetts region to serve as the translator for news/talk WBEC-AM, Pittsfield at 93.9 FM…..DGital Media issues a presser listing some of its recent content partnerships – including relationships with Tony Kornheiser, Peter King, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, IMG, The MMQB, and more.  Chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “We are extremely proud to add so many wonderful partnerships to our business.  The power of on-demand audio only continues to grow.  We are well poised for what lies ahead, bringing together our new and existing partners with a rapidly growing audience of millions of fans who tune in on a daily basis.”